Lisa Raitt 'leaning positively' towards Conservative leadership bid

Conservative MP Lisa Raitt says she is "north of 50 per cent" likely to enter party's leadership race.

Former transportation minister says she is "north of 50 per cent" likely to enter leadership race

Lisa Raitt says she is "leaning positively" towards seeking the Conservative leadership. She puts her odds of running as "north of 50 per cent." (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Former Conservative cabinet minister Lisa Raitt says she is leaning towards entering the race to succeed Stephen Harper as leader of the party. 

"I'm leaning positively towards it," Raitt told CBC News in an interview Friday.

Raitt said she is still reaching out to party members and supporters to gauge her level of support. She also needs to see who would be willing to help fundraise and organize her potential bid. 

But, she said, it is more likely than not at this stage that she will enter the race. 

"I'm excited," she said. "I'm north of 50 per cent (likely to run)."

If she makes the plunge, Raitt would be the sixth candidate to enter the race, which is dominated so far by Ontario candidates.

The declared candidates so far are Ontario MPs Tony Clement, Kellie Leitch and Michael Chong, Quebec MP Maxime Bernier and Calgary MP Deepak Obhrai, who announced on Thursday that he was entering the race.

Raitt, who represents the riding of Milton, west of Toronto, is currently the Opposition finance critic. She served as minister of natural resources, minister of labour and minister of transport in the Harper government.

No clear front runner

The race to succeed Harper lacks a clear front runner now that Jason Kenney has decided to seek the leadership of the Alberta PC party and Conservative supporters wait to see if Peter Mackay will enter the race.

Mackay, who is a partner with Baker & McKenzie law firm, retired from politics before the last election saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.

About the Author

David Cochrane is a senior reporter in CBC's Parliamentary bureau. He previously wrote for CBC Newfoundland and Labrador.